Creating and Using Symbols

This Tech Tip explains how to make a symbol and the advantage of making an object into a symbol.

Symbols are drawings in which the primitives are grouped into an object. Symbols can be imported and used in any drawing and they have the advantage of maintaining their allocated hook point, attributes and the snip box area as defined by the user.

Creating the Symbol
Before you use the Make Symbol function, you must draw the primitives you want to group. If you are going to use the object as a symbol, you should draw it horizontally because of the way AllyCAD automatically rotates and snips around symbols when they are inserted into drawings.

Object Menu › Make Symbol

Enter the name of the symbol and click on the 'tick' icon or press enter on the keyboard.

The program prompts to 'Enter Symbol hook point':

Each object has a hook point, which acts as a reference point. For example, if you import an object from one drawing into another as a symbol, the object will appear in the second drawing with its hook point at the cursor position.

Because of the way that AllyCAD can automatically rotate and snip around symbols when they are inserted into drawings, you should position the hook point on the left of the symbol.

The lower left corner is used as the hook point.

Enter the lower left corner of the snip box, by left clicking on the mouse.

Enter the upper right corner of the snip box, by left clicking on the mouse.

Using the polygon enclose all the drawing elements you want to include in the symbol and press the space bar to close.

You can have as many symbol attributes as you desire. Type in the prompt for the symbol attribute, this will prompt for the attribute text when placing symbols.

The following is displayed.

Enter the attribute default text.

When placing the symbol this is the default attribute that will be displayed and can be altered or changed before placing.

Enter the attribute position. Left click with the mouse to indicate the attribute position. Once the position has been selected additional attributes can be added.

Clicking on the 'tick' icon without any attributes stops the process. The symbol must then be saved.

File Menu › Save As

See Creating a Bill of Materials for details of editing attributes once you have attached them to a symbol.

The symbol may now be saved to the Symbol Library by selecting File > Save as. Select the Local C drive and then the AllyCAD folder. Select the Symbols folder. The new symbol may be saved directly to the Symbols folder or you can create a new folder to place your symbol into.

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